26 June 2006

Zambia: Milingo Disappears From His Zagarolo Residence in Rome

Lusaka — ROMAN Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo has disappeared from his Zagarolo residence outside Rome in bizarre circumstances.

And Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) communications secretary Fr Paul Samasumo said the church in Zambia was following the development through the Italian press.

According to a number of Italian online publications, the Archbishop who raised controversy after his wedding to a member of the Moon Sect in 2001 has not been seen at his residence for the last 11 days.

The Italian publications that include the Il Messagero, Torino Cronaca and TGCOM Cronaca reported that the 76- year-old Archbishop walked away without informing the responsible authority, Cardinal Giovanni Batista. The Zambia-born Archbishop Milingo, according to sources in the Catholic Church, was allowed to proceed with his healing ministry while at Zagarollo where he was assigned three nuns from the Daughters of the Redeemer to look after him.

Vatican officials, according to the Italian media, have also expressed ignorance on his whereabouts.

"The ministry of bishops that does not refute the news, is however, calm," reported TGCOM Cronaca.

The paper further ruled out the possibility of the Archbishop being with Maria Sung, as the woman has been traced and they were not together. And Fr Samasumo said the Catholic Church in the country was also following the development through the Italian press.

"We have been following reports from the Italian media and we do not have any details currently, but all that we know is that he has literally disappeared," Fr Samasumo said.

He said the nation would be informed of any latest development on the matter once it was made available.

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